Off-the-Eaten Food Experience in Japan. "Meet the People and Places behind your Plates! "

Monday, 16 April 2018

[1Day Nara] Eat & Walk Food Tour in Nara, foraging & medicinal plant garden

The history of harvesting medicinal plants dates back to early 7th century, when the first empress Suiko hunted wild herbs in today's uda city, Nara prefecture. This is written in the Chronicle of Japan in 611 AD.

Afterwords, during the ara of Yoshimune Tokugawa, 8th generation of Shogunate government in Edo period, one of the oldest medicinal plant garden was established in O-Uda.

At that time there were 35 traditional pharmacies and 12 medicinal liqor shops in the town. In Uda, since ancient times, traditional knowledge to utilize natural resources had been passed down from generations to generations. Many notable pharmaceutical companies are also initiated in this town. 

How about visiting the birthplace of medicinal plant culture in Japan, and going for harvesting wild edibles?

Japan's oldest medicinal plant garden "Morino herbal garden"

Morino Kudzu honpo, is a kudzu starch maker, also maintaining the Japan's oldest medicinal plant garden. There are 250 kinds of herbal plants, and 6 plants which was originally provided by Tokugawa Shogunate Government are still there. 

Mr. Harano, a garden master explains the highlights of the herbal garden

Foraging on the hill of Matsuyama castle town

Going through forest from Kasuga shrine led us to fantastic view of Matsuyama castle town. 

After 30 minutes walk, you can see awesome scenery from the top of the mountain. 

Here is the wild plant hunting site. 

Warabi, bracken plant

dokudami, (Houttuynia cordata)fish mint
fuki,  (Petasites japonicus) butterbur
mitsuba, (Cryptotaenia japonica); Japanese honewort
uba yuri, Cardiocrinum cordatum), Heartleaf lily

<Foraging tour in Uda>
Visitng Japan's oldest plant garden, foraging on the hill, sansai lunch, tasting medicinal herb liquor.

9:30 -      Meeting at Ouda bus stop
10:00-11:00    Medicinal Plant Garden
11:00-12:00     Foraging
12:30-14:00     Cooking and Lunch time

<min-max participants>    5-20 persons 
<Fee> 5000JPY(including lunch and entrance fee of medicinal plant garden)